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Art & Technology Lectures to Focus on 'Open Source Culture'

What do Pablo Picasso's Cubist collages, DJ Spooky's sampled music and the Linux operating system have in common? They are all examples of "Open Source Culture," the focus this season of the Art & Technology Lectures at Columbia University 's School of the Arts.

Speakers will address the legal, technological and conceptual issues that confront artists and engineers in the age of open source software, digital sampling and peer-to-peer file sharing networks.

"Artists have always influenced and imitated one another, but in the 20th century various forms of appropriation, from collage to found footage, have emerged as alternatives to more traditional forms of creativity," says Mark Tribe, Director of Art & Technology at Columbia 's School of the Arts. "Instead of making things entirely from scratch, artists began to use found images and sounds in their work."

The rise of appropriation, driven initially by technologies of mechanical reproduction, became even more pronounced with the appearance of personal computers and the Internet, Tribe says. Moreover, the intellectual property laws that regulate access to appropriated material have become increasingly restrictive, resulting in a rising tension between artistic practices and intellectual property policies. In response, an unlikely alliance of progressive legal scholars, artists and technologists has developed alternative models – such as CopyLeft and Creative Commons – for sharing intellectual property, he adds.

The series features five speakers: Joy Garnett, Jeffrey Cunard, Siva Vaidhyanathan , Jon Ippolito, and Cory Arcangel.

  • Joy Garnett is a painter and editor of NEWSgrist, a blog focusing on art, politics and digital culture. In Riot, her most recent solo exhibition at Debs & Co. in New York , she presented paintings based on news photographs of figures in states of emotional or physical extremity. In 2000 she created The Bomb Project, a web resource conceived and designed for artists and activists interested in making politically relevant work about nuclear issues. She is currently working on a series of paintings about war and global nomadism.

This event takes place at 6 p.m. , Thursday, Sept. 23, in 702 Hamilton Hall, 1130 Amsterdam Ave.

  • Jeffrey Cunard is a partner at the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton and a recognized practitioner in the field of the Internet and cyberlaw. He is a co-director of the clinical program at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School , and is an active participant in community activities and the arts. Cunard is chair of the Board of Trustees of the Freer Gallery of Art/Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, and serves on the boards of the College Art Association, for which he is counsel, and Friends of Khmer Culture, Inc., which he founded.

This event takes place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28, in 702 Hamilton Hall, 1130 Amsterdam Ave.

  • Siva Vaidhyanathan , a cultural historian and media scholar, is the author of Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (New York University Press, 2001) and The Anarchist in the Library (Basic Books, 2004). He has written for many periodicals, including Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Times Magazine, MSNBC.com, Salon.com, openDemocracy.net, and The Nation. Vaidhyanathan is an assistant professor of Culture and Communication at New York University .

This event takes place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18, in 702 Hamilton Hall, 1130 Amsterdam Ave.

  • Jon Ippolito is an artist, writer, and curator whose work explores the intersection of contemporary art and new media. As associate curator of Media Arts at the Guggenheim Museum , he has organized several exhibitions, including Seeing Double: Emulation in Theory and Practice (2004). Ippolito co-founded the Still Water program for network art and culture at the University of Maine , where he is an assistant professor of New Media. His critical writing has appeared in periodicals ranging from Flash Art and Art Journal to The Washington Post.

This event takes place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2, in 702 Hamilton Hall, 1130 Amsterdam Ave.

  • Cory Arcangel is a computer artist whose work is concerned with technology's relationship to culture and the creative process. He is a founding member of BEIGE (http://www.post-data.org/beige/), a group of computer programmers and enthusiasts who recycle obsolete computers and video game systems to make art and music, and a member of RSG, Radical Software Group, (http://rhizome.org/rsg). Arcangel's work has been exhibited at the American Museum of the Moving Image, Eyebeam, Foxy Productions, Tate Britain , Team Gallery and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

This event takes place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 16, in 310 Dodge Hall, 2960 Broadway.

The Art & Technology Lectures are organized by the Digital Media Center of the School of the Arts, and sponsored by the Computer Music Center. The Digital Media Center is partnering with the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning to make streaming video of the lectures available online at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/arts/dmc/lectures.

Published: Sep 23, 2004
Last modified: Jan 10, 2005

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